May 28, 2017, Cave Creek-
I have now gone from one point of angels to another, meaning from Superior to Cave Creek, via Globe and the Apache Trail. This road (AZ Highway 88) is mostly single track, offering enough room for vehicles heading one way to pass, whilst those going in the opposite direction wait their turn. It’s good for people to do this, at least a few times in their lives. I last drove the AT, in 1983, with Penny in tow. She was petrified and made me promise never to bring her there again. Today, she and my other spirit-minders made sure I paid close attention. With scenes like the one below, it might not have been so easy, had my main focus not been on the well-being of everyone on the road, including yours truly. Fortunately, there were also plenty of turn-outs.
There are two lakes along the Apache trail, between Roosevelt Dam and Goldfield. Here is a view of Apache Lake. When I taught at Villa-Oasis School, in the late 1970’s, this was one of the places groups of kids were sent for camping weekends.
Imagine how the Salt River must have flowed, before these reclamation projects took root.
At Fish Creek Hill, I drove up a 10% grade, made doable by the dryness of the road, and the cautious courtesy of all comers. One is rewarded at the top, by amazing views of the Superstition Wilderness.
Fish Creek Canyon looks like a fun place to hike and camp- in November.
I drove on, and found the pavement had resumed, about 1 1/2 miles west of the overlook. So did one young man behind me, who chose to pass, on a double yellow line, in a 15-MPH curve zone. The look on the face of the driver who had to stop and wait for him was classic. I would not want to be on approaching driver’s bad side. Itchy Foot was the only one who broke courtesy, on the 44-mile drive.
I stopped at Tortilla Flat, a small tourist haven, close to Lost Dutchman State Park, in the heart of the Superstition Wilderness. Siphon Draw and Boulder Canyon are two popular hiking trails, accessible from Tortilla Flat. Again, late Fall and early Spring are the best times for this area. Tortilla Flat does offer a wide variety of cool treats, and I thoroughly enjoyed a sarsaparilla float.
Back in 1900’s Arizona,, sidewalks, and even some roads, were made of planks.
Having had a nice relaxing break, I headed on towards Apache Junction, then up through the Valley, to pay my Memorial Day respects to Penny.
There is one more attraction on the Apache Trail, before one gets to Goldfield (another, slightly more upgraded “ghost town”), This is Canyon Lake.
Each of the lakes and vista points along the Apache Trail is worth a day or two, in comfortable weather. People, nonetheless, go there, even in the heat of summer, at least where there is water. Looking back, I spent most of my summer days in and around water, as a child and young adult, so the appeal is a no-brainer. It beats being inside.
I stopped at the Cemetery, anchored Penny’s flag, and one other, and thought of how fortunate I’ve been, with her presence, since 1980, and since 2011.
As I pulled up to Local Jonny’s, a lovely young woman, who seemed to be an advanced medical or law student, given her heavy briefcase, was securing her dog’s leash to the gatepost. There weren’t many inside, so Alicia was glad I stopped in, and in ten minutes, I had the last of her pitcher of iced tea and a cilantro chicken salad was placed in front of me. Jonny’s salads are good for two meals, so I have Monday’s lunch in my cooler, as the drive back to Prescott begins.
Having angels surrounding me, in all directions, including above, is a comforting state of affairs. Oh, and an e-mail from the chief of department leaves the door to my staying in Prescott ajar, at least.